3 Ways to Get a Free Credit Score

Summary: 3 easy and simple ways to get your credit score for free. You can get a credit score from some credit card companies, from Discover’s Credit Scorecard Program, or from Credit Karma.

New to credit? Check out my free guide to build credit for those who have no credit.

Your credit score is an important number. A wide variety of companies, from lenders to insurance companies to employers use your credit score to make a decision about you. Your credit score can have an impact on your loan rates, auto and home insurance premiums, employment opportunities, and housing opportunities. Despite the credit score’s importance and prevalence, most people don’t know their credit score, or they get confused because there are different types of scores. This video will provide you 3 easy ways to get your credit score for free.

First, lets talk about the different types of credit scores. The Vantage Score and the FICO 8 score are the 2 most prominent types. The Vantage Score is the one that is more readily available to consumers. Websites like creditkarma.com and creditsesame.com along with a host of credit card companies will provide this score. This score can be used to get an idea of where your credit is at, but it is not usually the credit score that most lenders look at when making a decision. 90% of lenders use the FICO 8 score to make their decision. The FICO 8 score is the one that you should know before you do an application for a loan. There can be a discrepancy between your Vantage Score and your FICO 8 score, so it is important to distinguish between the two.

Option 1 is getting a credit score from a credit card company. More and more credit card companies are offering a free credit score as a perk of being a cardmember. This information can usually be accessed via their online website. Keep in mind that some credit card companies will give you a Vantage Score, while others will give you a FICO 8 score. Below is a list of credit card companies that offer a free credit score as well the type of score it is and the credit bureau that it comes from.

American Express (all cards) – FICO 8 from Experian
Bank of America (all cards) – FICO 8 from Transunion
Barclays (Aviator, Arrial+, SallieMae Cards) – FICO 8 from Transunion
Capital One (Quicksilver card) – Vantage from Transunion
Citi (Doublecash card) – FICO 8 Bankcard from Equifax
Chase (Slate card) – FICO 8 from Experian
Discover – FICO 8 from Transunion
USAA – Vantage Score from Experian
Wells Fargo (all cards) – FICO 8 Bankcard from Experian
*This is not an exhaustive list. Credit card companies are always changing their perks to stay competitive. Check with your financial institution for the final verdict*

Option 2 is Discover’s Credit Scorecard Program. The great thing about this option is that it is available to everyone. You do not need a Discover credit card to qualify. Discover will give you a FICO 8 score from Experian. This score is updated monthly.

Option 3 is Credit Karma. Credit Karma gives you a Vantage score from 2 different credit bureaus, Transunion and Equifax. Even though Credit Karma doesn’t give you a FICO 8 score, both the website and app are great resources to use for managing your credit score. Credit Karma will give you a more in-depth look at your credit and gives you an array of features to manage your credit. You can get a detailed breakdown of the factors that impact your credit, view your full credit report, and even do disputes. I recommend using Credit Karma to monitor and manage your credit, and then using either option 1 or 2 to get your FICO score before you any applications for loans.

**I should note that nothing is truly free. Of course both Discover and Credit Karma provide a free credit score so they can market to you. That being said, they are both not pushy and do not swamp you with emails.** .